Report from BBI – Sends Letter to President; Meets with Embassy Official

(Washington, D.C., Feb. 14, 2020)—B’nai B’rith International President Charles O. Kaufman and CEO Daniel S. Mariaschin have issued the following statement: 

B’nai B’rith International decries ongoing attacks against members of the Jewish community in Chernivitsi, Ukraine. 

In a long and disturbing pattern of incidents, members of the B’nai B’rith Lodge in Chernivitsi, including lodge President Vadim Kolotushkin, have been physically assaulted and the lodge office was vandalized. 

We sent a letter protesting the incidents to President Volodymyr Zelensky in January, and had a meeting on Thursday with a representative of the Embassy of Ukraine in Washington, D.C. As of this time, we have not received a response from the president’s office to our letter. 

“Such blatant public displays of anti-Semitism and xenophobia in defiance of public order are deeply troubling and must be forcefully opposed. B’nai B’rith International condemns in the strongest terms all such expressions of violence. Your recognition of this event as a demonstration of the ideology of hatred will be an important rebuke. We urge the Ukraine government, under your leadership, to fully investigate the alleged attack and bring the perpetrators to justice,” we wrote to Zelensky. 

Now in the face of new attacks, we are calling for authorities to secure the safety of the community and to immediately investigate and charge those responsible for these attacks.